Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Posted on Feb 28, 2014 , 0 comments
Why do dogs eat grass? This question is still debatable. Some pups are drawn to it, while others are not. This habit begs the question: Does the grass emit some delectable scent that dogs can’t resist?
Research indicates that there could be a few different reasons why some dogs eat grass:
1) Simply put, they like eating grass. It is believed that, for some dogs, it becomes an added supplement to their diet. Dogs require both animal and vegetable substances, so in some cases, the grass becomes their vegetable substitute. It could also indicate your pup’s regular meals are insufficient in providing a balanced diet. Perhaps, your pups aren’t getting all the nutrients they need so you may consider adding a supplement to their meals.
2) If your dog normally doesn’t ingest grass and makes a sudden dash for a bite of it, this could indicate a stomach issue. A dog that eats grass in this specific way, may have a bit of an upset stomach. By consuming the grass, it can often help induce vomiting. This may be a primal way for dogs to help themselves feel better if their stomach is upset. Some even believe the blades of grass can “tickle” their tummy, causing a sick dog to vomit.
Is It Normal?
Most dog owners are concerned about whether this behavior is normal or not. Rest assured, eating grass is nothing to be too alarmed about. Unless their vomiting is unusual, it’s most likely nothing to worry about. Sometimes, just like humans, dogs get upset stomachs.
When Should You Worry?
If your pup is showing other symptoms that are paired with a sudden desire to eat grass, it is a good idea to bring your dog into the vet and see if there are any serious underlying gastrointestinal problems. Symptoms such as lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss are signs you should definitely not ignore. Also, make sure that the grass your dogs are consuming is untreated by fertilizer and pesticides, as both can be harmful to your dog when ingested.
Discouraging your Dog from Grass Eating
If it seems like your dog is eating grass more out of habit than sickness, there are some ways you can try to discourage the impulse.
Keep the Grass Trimmed Down
- Make sure to keep your grass frequently mowed, as dogs tend to take bites out of taller patches of available grass.
2) Provide your Dog a Healthy and Nutritious Diet
- Dietary changes may also help to prevent grass consumption. If it is a dietary imbalance, consider adding a supplement to your dog’s diet. Unfortunately, there is no known food replacement that will keep your dog from eating grass. Even so, it’s always worth a try to diversify your dog’s food intake. Even if you choose not to try a supplement, it’s important that your dog is eating robust food that is catering to his nutritional needs.
There are a variety of different foods, and food types (including a raw food diet) for dogs of all different breeds, varying ailments, and lifestyles.
3) Eat On Time
- Be sure to feed your dog regularly. Like humans, it’s ideal for dogs to eat on a regular set schedule, otherwise, like us; they are tempted to snack on the wrong things.
4) Cater Safer Grass for Consumption
If it seems like grass is their main go-to, some owners may also choose to grow a separate patch of grass, specifically for their pups to eat. This grass is free of chemicals or other harmful substances that your regular lawn might be exposed to.
5) Always Keep an Eye on Your Dog’s Eating Habits
There’s no guaranteed method to stop your dog from eating grass and many vets will agree that this isn’t something that’s too concerning. However, you should always be aware of your dog’s feeding habits. Since our dogs can’t tell us when something is wrong, as owners, it’s our responsibility to notice when something is abnormal. If they’re not eating like they normally do, or vomiting excessively, this is a red flag and you should take your dog in for a check up as soon as possible.